Panic! Dark Souls III is so easy I didn’t die by the boss once

Hands-on preview

When I wrote about why Souls games are not that hard earlier this year, I told you all that I was neither expert (under 30 series hours total) nor savant (not skilled at anything).

And yet, this lumbering galoot, after quite a bit of wine from the Tuscan castle vineyard in Northern California hosting this themed event, managed to beat the boss in the demo quite a deal under the allotted hour playtime, without losing to it once.

Dark Souls III is officially for casuals. From Software has forsaken ardent fans. Everyone panic.

Also go read that article you didn’t click in the opening sentence. I’ll wait.

Site Souls-expert Chris Carter reckons this slice of Dark Souls III was about five hours into the game, so it’s no first boss gimme that I took down casually and without a sweat. Also, henceforth, I am Destructoid’s resident Souls expert. Chris was the first to beat the boss out of everyone (I came in a close second), but not even he managed to do it first try and so he is usurped.

In fact, I almost made it all the way to the boss without dying until I got stuck investigating a corner and some malnourished dogs attacked me. My attacks got caught on the shelves and wall on either side, interrupting the animation, and I was pinned. Streak nixed, I explored a bit more, fought a black tendril-y roof monster, and so on. My natural investigative nature is probably the only reason Chris beat me to the boss, if you think about it.

Even to a handsome newbie like myself, Dark Souls III was instantly familiar. Despite matching Bloodborne‘s speed, it doesn’t have that same novelty learning curve that came with playing sans shield, with a giant transforming axe scythe thing and a gun. The big new addition, Weapon Arts, are activated by holding L2 and then doing attacks for alternate strikes, but I never put them into play during combat.

The skill went from unlimited to a cap of 20, refueled at bonfires, which should help undercut my joking fear mongering regarding the difficulty level of the game. All of this could change and likely will. We were shown a stage and system that feels completely final (art, animation, etc.) save for the most important thing: balance and tuning to feel.

[Disclosure: Bandai Namco provided local travel to the event, as well as dinner.]

Steven Hansen